For many scholarships, when you apply and receive it, the money goes to your school. If you have been applying to a lot of scholarships but they tend to send your university money to your school, that can be frustrating as you may need this money for personal use such as your transportation, clothes, and college essentials. And as a busy college student, getting a job is out of the equation, of course, so we won’t talk about that. In this post, we will focus on those scholarships that pay directly to student.
At many schools, any tuition grants or scholarships get paid to the school. However, funds not used are usually disbursed back to the student at the end of the enrollment period in the form of credit. But sometimes, the money is used up and you never get it back. Some schools don’t even send it to you.
Now, the solution is to look into smaller scholarships. You can also ask your guidance counselor to advise you on how to get the money directly. We will be looking at scholarships that give stipends instead. Even some fellowships pay more than a typical summer job, and they pay directly to the student. Many smaller scholarships don’t really know how to give the money to the university directly, so it’s just easier for them to give it directly to the student. We will be looking at these scholarships in this post.
Scholarships That Pay Directly to Student
First, a scholarship is a type of financial aid that you don’t have to repay – it’s simply free money if you win. While many scholarships ask for essays on various topics, if you prefer not to spend much time on more demanding scholarships, these easy options might be for you. You could potentially apply to all of them in just about an hour and they will pay the money directly to you.
1. Bold.org’s “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship
The first scholarship we will be looking at is the Bold.org Be Bold No Essay scholarship. This one facilitates the creation of scholarships by individuals and organizations and also offers its own annual scholarship. The “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship. This year, the scholarship amount is $25,102. Bold.org operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning those who apply earlier have a better chance of winning directly to your bank. The winner is selected based on having the most impressive or inspiring profile on Bold.org. So, if your profile on Bold.org stands out as particularly moving or inspiring, it could increase your chances of winning. Work After School also mentioned Bold.org as one of those who recognize left handed people with scholarships.
2. CollegeXpress’s $2,000 Monthly Scholarship
The second one we have is the CollegeXpress’s $2,000 Monthly Scholarship. For the CollegeXpress monthly scholarship, you simply fill in basic information and answer a straightforward question in just one sentence. The questions are often simple, too. For instance, the question for October 2021’s “Scaredy Cat Scholarship” was, “What scares you most about the college admission process?” When you apply for this scholarship, CollegeXpress automatically enters you into a separate drawing for a $10,000 scholarship. That’s a pretty good deal, and they pay the money directly to your bank account.
3. Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway
We also have the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway. This money is not given to your school, but rather, to you directly. It requires a bit more effort than other “easy” scholarships. To apply, you need to write a short statement and create a brief video explaining how winning will benefit your education and career goals. Dr. Pepper mainly looks for passion in your submission. The prizes are quite significant:
- 5 grand prizes of $100,000 each
- 10 consolation prizes of $2,500 each
- 5 runner-up prizes of $25,000 each
However, if your application is chosen, you’ll need to successfully throw a football at a college football game to claim your prize.
4. ScholarshipOwl’s You Deserve It Scholarship
ScholarshipOwl also offers one of the scholarships that pay directly to student. This scholarship is probably one of the simplest on the list. ScholarshipOwl only requires your first and last name, phone number, and email address to enter you into their giveaway, where you could win $1,000. If you’re the winner, you’ll also get a month of free access to ScholarshipOwl’s services. However, residents of Michigan and Rhode Island are currently not eligible for this scholarship.
5. Cedar Education Lending’s Because College is Expensive Scholarship
So, at number 5, we have Cedar Education Lending’s Because College is Expensive Scholarship. Cedar Education Lending offers the Because College is Expensive Scholarship, which grants a $500 prize to a student every quarter. It might be one of the smaller scholarships that pay directly to student, but applying is very easy and they don’t pay to your school. You just need to provide your name, email address, physical address, cell phone number, and grade/class rank.
Any U.S. citizen from a high school junior to a graduate student can apply for this scholarship, as long as they plan to enroll in higher education within the next 24 months. This means you could secure some easy scholarship money even in the middle of high school.
6. Scholarships360’s $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship
Next, we have Scholarships360’s $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship. Scholarships360 helps students find scholarships as well as offers its own, known as the $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship. To enter this scholarship draw, simply sign up by giving the website a few details. This scholarship is open to almost any student who creates an account and is awarded periodically based on the signups.
7. Niche.com’s “No Essay” College Scholarship
As a student who does not want your scholarship money to be sent to your school, this is the scholarship you should be looking at—Niche.com’s “No Essay” College scholarship. Niche.com is a website that helps students and their families find suitable colleges and universities. They offer the “No Essay” College Scholarship, which provides $2,000.
It’s quite simple to apply for Niche.com’s scholarship. You just need to set up an account on Niche.com and fill in their brief application form. Niche.com selects the winner through a random draw. If you win, they’ll get in touch with you and announce your name in their newsletter. The best part is that this scholarship is offered every month. So, if you don’t win one month, you can simply try again the next month. Keep applying once a month while you are in college, and each time, you’ll have a chance to win $2,000.
8. Course Hero’s $4,000 College Giveaway
You could also sign up for the scholarship at Course Hero. Here, students share study materials, and they offer $4,000 in scholarships for contributing. There’s no limit to the number of times you can enter this scholarship; every 10 study documents you upload earns you another entry. If you have a lot of notes and study guides, this could be a great opportunity.
9. Appily $1,000 Easy Money Scholarship
At number 9, we have Appily Easy Money Scholarship. First of all, Appily is a service that helps you explore and compare colleges. Besides assisting in choosing a college, Appily also provides an easy scholarship opportunity. The Appily Easy Money Scholarship awards $1,000 and doesn’t require a high GPA or an essay.
This is one of the easy scholarships that pay directly to student. It’s simple to apply. You just need to provide your name, gender, ethnicity, date of birth, and some academic information, including your current school or schools you are considering. The application process involves just two steps and can be completed in about a minute.
10. Tallo’s “The Nature of Work” Scholarship
At number 10, we have Tallo’s “The Nature of Work” Scholarship. The scholarship awards $1,000 to one winner. The application is simple. First, you need to create a free account on Tallo’s platform. Once your account is set up, just follow a few easy steps to enter your name into the scholarship drawing.
11. Sallie Mae’s $1,000 Sweepstakes
Next, we have Sallie Mae, a major consumer banking company, that helps college students find many scholarships that pay directly to student through its website. As a bonus, when you sign up on their site, Sallie Mae automatically enters you into their own $1,000 sweepstakes. This is their way of helping you kickstart your scholarship search.
Sallie Mae will ask for your basic details like name, email, and grade when you sign up. You’ll also create a username and password to complete your account registration. Once that’s done, you are automatically entered into their $1,000 giveaway.
12. Cirkled In’s “No Sweat” Scholarship
Cirkled In awards $2,500 every quarter to a student for educational purposes. You are eligible for this scholarship if you are at least 13 years old, in grades 8–12, and a resident of any U.S. state or Washington, D.C. Just create a free account on Cirkled In’s website and complete your profile. The winners are picked based on the completeness of their profile and the number of points they’ve accumulated. You can earn points by inviting teachers and friends to join the platform, getting recommendations from teachers, coaches, and mentors through Cirkled In, and applying for other scholarships on their platform.
13. AFSA High School Scholarship
At number 13, we have the AFSA High School Scholarship. The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) offers this free money through easy scholarships that pay directly to student. Each year, they award about 10 scholarships. The AFSA also provides 5 “2nd Chance Scholarships” worth $1,000 each. Depending on your eligibility, you might be able to enter both scholarship contests to increase your chances of getting free money.
14. Ascent’s Shining Stars Scholarship
Ascent assists students from underserved backgrounds in affording college in various ways, including the monthly $1,000 Shining Stars Scholarship. The tasks required for the application change monthly, but they’re always fairly straightforward. Generally, you’ll start by reading a short blog post on Ascent’s website. Next, you follow Ascent on Instagram, like a specific post, and comment on that post, mentioning something you learned from the blog and including a specific hashtag that Ascent provides. Finally, you complete the scholarship form on their website to enter.
15. ScholarshipPoints’ $10,000 Scholarship
The 15th scholarship we will talk about is the ScholarshipPoints $10,000 scholarship. This one does not require essays or test scores. The application is made easy. You just need to provide some basic personal information, your grade, and create a password. Students as young as 13 are eligible to apply. In addition to the large $10,000 award, ScholarshipPoints also gives away three $1,000 scholarships every month. This means there are at least 36 opportunities each year to win some free money! You can apply for ScholarshipPoints’ scholarship here.
16. AccessScholarships’ Too Cool to Pay For School Scholarship
If you think your school should not keep your scholarship money, AccessScholarships also thinks the same. They offer $1,000 to four lucky winners at the end of each quarter. This opportunity is open to anyone in college, or graduate school, as long as they plan to enroll in a higher education institution within the next 24 months if they aren’t already enrolled. It appears you can enter once every quarter. You will also receive an extra entry if you follow them on Instagram using the button on their application page.
17. Niche.com’s Review Your School $1,000 Scholarship
Finally, we have Niche.com. You may already know this platform. Now, Niche offers a scholarship for reviewing your school. This is called the $1,000 School Survey Sweepstakes. You’ll rate your overall experience out of 5 stars and write a brief review. You’ll also rate various aspects of your school and indicate your connection to it (like being a freshman, parent, etc.). If you are selected for this scholarship, you’ll win $1,000. This money is paid to you directly and not to your school.
How to Apply for a Scholarship That Pays Directly to You
These are all easy scholarships that pay to you instead of your school. They do not offer a lot of money but at least the funds go to your bank account and not to your school. You can also apply to as many as you can.
Now, make sure to have your basic information, such as your name and email address, in a Google doc. This way, you can quickly copy and paste this information into applications to save time.
But, don’t just stick to easy scholarships. Also, consider applying for more traditional scholarships that include writing components. These might have less competition, especially those focused on specific subjects. First, make sure that the scholarship pays to students and not to schools.
Meanwhile, you can always improve your chances of winning scholarships that pay directly to student. The truth is, with most of these easy scholarships, there aren’t many options to stand out. They are more like giveaways than competitions because of their simplicity. If there’s a part of the application that allows for some writing, creativity, or the inclusion of your GPA/test scores, use that to your advantage. If the scholarship is offered regularly, like monthly or yearly, keep applying. It takes only a few minutes each time and gives you a chance at free money.
While these scholarships are great, they shouldn’t be your only focus. Don’t rely solely on scholarships for financial aid. Look into all available options like scholarships, grants, work-study programs, military aid (if applicable), and student loans. Always fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to check your eligibility for federal aid. By the way, I made an article about scholarships for students who don’t qualify for financial aid. So, if you find yourself in this category, make sure to check out that article.
Will You Get These Scholarships?
Yes, you will, as long as you meet the requirements. Sometimes, they can be frustrating but they pay directly to students. There are many legitimate small scholarships out there, but with easy money involved, fake ones can also be lurking around. Look out for these red flags:
- Requests for sensitive personal or financial information, like your Social Security number or bank account details.
- Instructions to deposit a check and then send part of the money back, known as a fake check scam.
- Being chosen for something you didn’t apply for.
- Requests to pay fees or “prepaid taxes” before submitting your application.
You can always do some online research to verify if a scholarship is legit. You can also ask for guidance from high school or college counselors or your school’s financial aid office.
So, these simpler scholarships that pay directly to student mean more competition. Sometimes, they are not that competitive but you just have to put in your best effort. Also, you can apply for many more scholarships quickly. So, go ahead and apply to all these scholarships that won’t pay to your school. But don’t limit yourself—try for some essay-based ones too, where there’s less competition. In these, you have better chances to stand out among fewer applicants, even though they require more effort.
The main drawback is the high level of competition. Since the applications are easier, more people are likely to apply. However, because they require less effort, you can apply for many more of these scholarships. While applying for these scholarships, you can also check if your university refunds for excess scholarships that you receive. If you are a low-income student, check whether your university has any resources that can help you pay for college essentials.
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